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The old lady owes us nothing

emo_court_02b.jpgighteen Jesuits, from six communities, plus two ex-Jesuits who were novices in Emo, and five ladies who have worked there in recent years, gathered in the old noviciate on a November evening to remember and pray, and enjoy the hospitality of the Office of Public Works before scattering. It was a day to remember. Read more. A 1962 novice commented: “It really was quite touching to have Mass and sing the Take and Receive in the ‘Chapel’ again. That is to say nothing of seeing the range in the kitchen just as it was in 1962.”

emo_court_01.jpgConor Harper led Mass on the spot where the high altar once stood. They prayed for the women and men, some illustrious, some forgotten, who had made Emo Court their home over the centuries. They brooded on the financial vagaries which led to its abandonment by the Portarlingtons in 1920, its purchase by the Jesuits for £5000 in 1930, its sale to Major Cholmeley Harrison for £46,000 in 1969 (Jesuits reasoned that “the old lady owes us nothing, and Harrison is the only bidder offering cash”); and its gift by Harrison (who had spent up to seven million restoring it) to the Irish nation which now, through the OPW, maintains it splendidly.